About Abel Pienaar

Dr Abel Pienaar is a South African philosopher and author. Having completed his BA and BD in Theology at the University of Pretoria, Abel began his professional journey as a fulltime Minister of Theology in the Dutch Reformed Church, in Pretoria. During this time, he completed numerous counselling and mentoring courses and was part of an active counselling practice, which he continues to this day. His field of focus was spiritual, emotional, relationship and grief counselling. He also practised centring prayer, a Christian form of meditation, and was part of an international spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities, called COSA (Contemplative Outreach South Africa).

After twelve years, he resigned as minister and pastor from the Church – a decision which led him through a time of soul searching and transformation. This brought him to a spiritual teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh (the father of Mindfulness) in Plum Village, in Dordogne, southern France. There he studied and practiced with the Zen community. Abel has now been practicing Zazen, a form of meditation belonging to Zen Buddhism, for more than a decade. He also studied Taoism and later translated the Tao Te Ching into Afrikaans. This brought him to life coaching:

“I’ve become more and more convinced that by helping and teaching others to reconnect with their power of calm, are in essence, my own path and destiny.”

He became a meditation and mindfulness teacher, mentor and life coach.

In 2007, he founded Renaissance Spiritual Community in Pretoria and has acted as the leader and teacher at the community for the past 11 years. He has also co-founded and acted as the director for the Centre of Contemporary Spirituality (Sentrum vir Eietydse Spiritualiteit).

On completing his PhD in Philosophy, he became a public speaker on topics ranging from: “The purpose of life”, “Discovering the true self”, “How to conquer stress and anxiety”, “Power of calm: Learn to unlearn” and “Meditation: Train your brain”.


To exercise no-thought and rest in nothing is the first step toward tapping in to the power of calm.

Abel has written and co-written several books up to date:

  • Saam op soek na God (Griffel Uitgewers). 2010.
  • Kom ons Bid, gebede vir vandag. Redakteur: Piet Müller (Griffel Uitgewers). 2012.
  • God? Gesprekke oor die oorsprong en uiteinde van alles. George Claasssen en Fritz Gaum (Tafelberg Uitgewers). 2012.
  • The Warrior’s Manifesto (Malan Media). 2012
  • God se oë is Blou (Naledi Uitgewers, tweede druk). 2014, 2017.
  • Die Dans met God (Naledi Uitgewers). 2015. Winner of the ‘Best lifestyle book of the year,’ Woordfees, Stellenbosch.
  • Tao Te Ching: Boek van die Weg (Malan Uitgewers, vierde druk). 2016, 2017.
  • And at present, Power of Calm is at the publishers.

Abel has also done a lot of radio and TV work and wrote a weekly column for Rapport (Netwerk24) from 2012 to 2016. Abel is married to Zelda and has just become a grandparent.